Monday, 21 April 2014

Právo: Kuba may become head of resistance wave in ODS

4 February 2013

Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) - A wave of resistance may arise in the Czech senior government Civic Democratic Party (ODS) any time with Martin Kuba, the ODS first deputy chairman, as its head and initiator of changes to prevent the party's further decline, Jan Martinek writes in daily Pravo Saturday.

He refers to a fresh interview Kuba gave to Pravo, in which he not only openly said what the rest of the ODS leadership refuses to admit - that they are totally torn off from reality, but he also indicated that his loyalty to ODS chairman and PM Petr Necas may disappear quickly if the urgently needed fundamental changes occur in the party.

The ODS's voter preferences have been plummeting, which the debacle of the ODS's official candidate, Senate deputy chairman Premysl Sobotka, in the January presidential polls has also confirmed, Martinek writes.

All in the ODS feel worried and nervous, except for the party's central leadership whose members make sad faces but do nothing to prevent the party's collapse, Martinek says.

In a suitable moment, nevertheless, the ODS regional representatives as well as dissatisfied common members may start an internal rebellion as a result of which an extraordinary election congress would be convoked and the ODS leadership replaced, Martinek writes.

ODS members must any moment stop to inactively watch their party, once strong and popular, suffering one election defeat after another and being laughed at by voters and also by Miroslav Kalousek, mastermind of TOP 09, another right-wing governing party, who believes that his trick with "Karel the punkman" could be swallowed up by voters for the third time, Martinek writes.

He alludes to Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose popularity as TOP 09 chairman and presidential candidate helped boost the popularity of TOP 09 itself, to the detriment of the ODS, though he finally lost the election battle to former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman.

However, for an effective resistance movement to arise in the ODS and have a chance to succeed, the rebels would need a leader. Of the names that seem to offer themselves, only three come into consideration: Jiri Pospisil, Jaroslav Kubera and Martin Kuba, Martinek writes.

The former two come into consideration because they are the only two ODS officials who can pride in winning elections in spite of their party's poor election results in general, Martinek writes.

He alludes to the ODS success in last autumn's regional elections in west Bohemia, where Pospisil was its election leader, and to Kubera's smooth re-election as senator in the simultaneous Senate polls.

However, Kubera has made it repeatedly clear that he does not have an ambition to interfere in the ODS's central leadership.

Pospisil, on his part, is too cautious to launch a crusade against Necas as ODS chairman, Martinek writes.

Kuba, the industry and trade minister, seems to represent the change the party urgently needs. He presents himself as a new face in the party, who would not hesitate to tell unpleasant things, if need were, Martinek says, referring to Kuba's interview with Pravo.

The time will show whether Kuba's words about "the personnel changes" that may occur unless the ODS [central leadership] pulls together were a shot that has triggered off real turbulences in the ODS, Matinek concludes.

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